Rapid technological evolution and the decline of traditional manufacturing have created new opportunities for growth in Australia. Businesses need to adapt and evolve in response, and make use of advancements like enhanced precision, customisation and automation in manufacturing processes. By implementing an agile, technology-driven approach, we can produce high-quality products safely and efficiently, and create a more robust globally competitive industry.

At UniSA, we partner with industry to create exciting solutions that not only meet current manufacturing challenges, such as climate change, shifting customer needs, quality assurance and resource availability, but also support organisational growth and provide new approaches for tomorrow’s manufacturing industries.  

Our multidisciplinary approach connects partners to researchers from a range of fields, including mechanical engineering, environmental science, minerals science, logistics, mining, medical and health science, industrial design, business, project management and chemistry.

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What we do

Design and deposition of multi-layer thin film coating systems

Exploration of energy capture, storage and conversion

Design and fabrication of advanced nanomaterials and nanocomposites

Development of novel drug delivery systems, vaccine production and medical devices

Inspiring young talent through project-based PhD opportunities is another way that we work with industry to support thought leadership and address the complex problems of our partners. Our researchers and students work with industry on a variety of projects, including:

With expert researchers and state-of-the-art facilities, we have the capability to work with partners and the community to create and implement initiatives to support the advanced manufacturing sector.

Our partners

At UniSA, we match our research strengths and capability with the demands and opportunities of our partners, and maximise the mutual benefits of engagement.

Luoda Pharma
UCL Engineering

Hear from our partners and staff

UniSA is a globally connected university, collaborating with more than 2,500 companies worldwide. Hear from our partners and staff about their collaborations and engagement.

UniSA’s strategic partnership with UCL Engineering will continue to grow as we contribute to the reinvigoration of sovereign manufacturing in Australia. Our commitment to further strengthening our engagement with UCL is demonstrated by our Master of Science on Global Management of Natural Resources, where students from the UK can study in a multidisciplinary programme that builds on the teaching and research strengths between the two universities.

Professor Peter Murphy

Future Industries Institute

Professor Peter Murphy
Professor Peter Murphy

Professor Peter Murphy

Future Industries Institute

“Through our collaboration with UniSA, we have been able to showcase our technology to new customers and prove just how good it is. The university has been able to expand its capabilities and generate industry relevant outputs and engagements, which helps the sector as a whole.”

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Dr Thomas Schläfer

Engineering Manager, R&D

Dr Thomas Schläfer
Dr Thomas Schläfer

Dr Thomas Schläfer

Engineering Manager, R&D

UniSA's Enterprise Hub

The Enterprise Hub creates and sustains partnerships with organisations of all sizes, leveraging UniSA’s industry expertise and experience to solve problems, innovate and add value. Discover a range of services that can help you achieve your business goals.

Why partner with UniSA?



UniSA’s Engineering research rated well above world-class – 2018 Excellence in Research for Australia (ERA)



2018 ARC Engagement and Impact Assessment (EI), Combined Impact – Approach to Impact and Engagement on Assessed



2023 THE World University Rankings



2018 Excellence in Research for Australia (ERA), 4-digit Fields of Research.



2024 THE Young University Rankings – Industry Income Indicator.

Partner case studies

Breaking boundaries: Precision facility unlocks new capabilities for defence manufacturing

The University of South Australia’s (UniSA) new Precision Engineering Centre is at the cutting-edge of defence manufacturing, quite literally. The new centre, located at UniSA’s Future Industries Institute, is the culmination of a decade-long collaboration between the SA Node of the Australian National Fabrication Facility (ANFF-SA), which operates within UniSA, and the Research Engineering (RE) at Defence Science and Technology Group (DSTG).

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“The micro and nanofabrication capabilities will be critical in the development of next generation prototypes and new methods for defence manufacturing.”

Craig Priest, UniSA Professor and Director of ANFF-SA

Fighting corrosion to prolong the life of Australian Defence Force assets

With the AUKUS Alliance delivering US Virginia Class and SSN-AUKUS Class submarines over the 2030s and 2040s, the need to extend the life of Australia’s Collins-class is becoming increasingly critical. Researchers from UniSA have created laser cladding technology that mitigates vessel corrosion and will deliver Life of Type Extension (LOTE) to Australia’s maritime industry.

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“Our researchers work to enhance the performance of materials in extreme environments – allowing metal, glass and plastics to withstand damage for longer periods of time.”

Professor Colin Hall, Industry Professor, Future Industries Institute, UniSA

Laser coating machinery for longevity

Minerals processing machinery is expensive and endures extreme levels of erosion, corrosion, and wear and tear induced by repetitive impact. Shutdowns for repairs and maintenance of equipment can cost more than $100,000 for every hour of downtime.

Australian surface engineering company, LaserBond, and UniSA’s specialist Coatings Research Group at the Future Industries Institute, are developing some of the world’s most resilient minerals processing equipment through the use of composite coatings and laser cladding. 

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“We strongly believe that collaborations between industry and universities are vital in increasingly competitive and globalised markets. Such projects give LaserBond access to expertise and facilities that would be impossible to develop in-house. Co-funding models help us benefit from every R&D dollar and allow us to innovate and stay competitive in a global market.”

Dr Thomas Schläfer, Engineering Manager, R&D, LaserBond

Better cancer detection for more precise treatment

In partnership with medical device company, Ferronova, researchers from UniSA’s Future Industries Institute (FII), Dr Aidan Cousins and Professor Benjamin Thierry, have developed a biodiagnostic system to refine cancer detection. The system consists of a magnetic probe and injectable magnetic nanoscale tracers, able to detect the spread of cancer less invasively, more quickly, and more accurately than existing methods. It delivers an accurate and affordable system for the staging of deep or complex cancers, such as head and neck, gastrointestinal and oesophageal cancers.

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“Translating university IP into human trials is a significant undertaking, and the Ferronova nanoparticle technology is one of the first new magnetic nanoparticle technologies to be translated to the clinic in over 20 years... The collaboration has been positive for both UniSA and Ferronova.”

Stewart Bartlett, CEO, Ferronova

Explore our research

As Australia’s University of Enterprise, our researchers work closely with industry and communities on projects that provide intelligent and dynamic solutions to manufacturing organisations.

Experts in advanced manufacturing

Meet our researchers and learn about how they are working towards solving industry and partner challenges.

I have a passion for helping Australian manufacturing be globally competitive through applying innovative research in the material science space. With a focus on coatings for automotive, defence and mining, my colleagues and I worked with SMR Automotive to develop a unique coating for hidden interior decorative lighting in cars. This technology incorporates a satin finish and tailored transparency allowing for a decorative lighting to shine through but look like a solid metal component when turned off. This technology has been commercialised and is exported to Europe, appearing in two models of supercar.

Associate Professor Colin Hall


Associate Professor Colin Hall

My research encompasses the engineering of surfaces via the application of thin film coatings for use in the optical, automotive, defence, mining and renewable energy sectors. I spent the first decade of my working life in private industry and I still have to this day, retain a great passion for helping industry innovate.

Working in partnership with the Malaysian Automotive and IOT Institute (MARii), my research team and I are investigating commercialisation opportunities for an environmentally tough and durable coating that reflects sunlight’s heat. This technology has broad applications on vehicle, bus, train and household windows, where it helps reduce energy consumption through the need to run air conditioners less.

Professor Peter Murphy
Director, Future Industries Institute


Professor Peter Murphy
Director, Future Industries Institute

As a surface engineer, my research focuses on wear and corrosion resistant coatings applied using thermal spraying and laser cladding for applications in heavy industries like mining, steel, agriculture, energy, oil and gas. In collaboration with LaserBond Ltd, we are innovating the coatings of minerals processing equipment to make it more durable and increase its longevity. This not only saves money and time, it also saves on resources.

Dr Christiane Schulz


Dr Christiane Schulz

Hear from our experts from UniSA’s Future Industries Institute, Research Fellows Dr Kamil Zuber and Dr Marta Llusca Jane, as they discuss some of the latest developments and industry partnerships, particularly specializing in materials engineering, coatings and manufacturing research. UniSA’s Enterprise Hub will continue to bridge the gap between industry and research, helping to solve industry challenges through the translation of world-leading knowledge and application of our research expertise, technology and talent.

Find a research expert

Advanced manufacturing training and development

UniSA offers a range of bachelor, master, PhD and Executive Education programs in advanced manufacturing, engineering and project management that align to the sector’s needs in developing and transforming its future workforce.

Advanced manufacturing news from UniSA

Explore our industry sectors

Discover our research capabilities across similar industry sectors.

Key Contacts

Atif Majeed
Senior Manager: Business Development, Enterprise Partnerships Unit
EH1-20A, City West Campus
Andy Noble-Judge
Manager: Business Development, Enterprise Partnerships Unit
EH1-15, City West Campus

Contact the Enterprise Hub

Get in touch with us to find out how we can support your business needs.

Make an enquiry online or call us to discuss your idea